Didem Doğan

Castle of Fortaleza de San Carlos de Cabaña: The Old Town from the Castle on the Other Side

You have strolled through the streets of old town. Would you like to view this city now from the other side? Take a tuk-tuk to travel to the Castle of La Cabaña: from the old town, this place looks like an area enclosed by walls, but when you enter it, you find yourself in an area larger than you expect. It was built by the Spanish in the 18th century, out of the fear and anxiety of the British troops which took over the city briefly. It was ranked the second biggest military fortification built by the Spanish in the ‘New World’ at the time, following the city of Cartagena in Columbia which was the biggest. Its status as a military base during the Spanish colonisation later changed into that of a prison after the independence. With regards to the human rights violations which is one of the greatest criticisms directed against today’s Cuba, the torture done in this prison is still a shameful taint for the contemporary regime. During the brief period of Che Guevera’s command of the military troops, the execution of war criminals and the convention of court martials all took place here.